News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Hot ticket for Leno's free Burbank show

Tim Patrick of Somerville wheeled a rental car to the front of NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif., to claim free tickets for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

With him were his wife, Melissa, THE DAILY's Ronnie Thomas, Matty Johnson of WZYP Radio and Karen Mayer of Somerville. Melissa and Karen are cousins of singer Bo Bice. They were in the Hollywood area at his invitation to cheer him on "American Idol."

An NBC official advised Tim to "park on the street," Ronnie reports.

And that's what Tim did. But after the show, the five found a greeting card from the city — a $35 parking fine.

"NBC and Burbank must be working together for revenue," Karen said.

Short-winded preachers

Can nearly a dozen preachers speak in less than 30 minutes?

They did in Athens for the observance of the National Day of Prayer.

Lindsay Lane Baptist Church minister Sonny Schofield told Holly Hollman that he wasn't sure he and 10 other preachers could accomplish such a feat.

"I didn't know how we were all going to pray in 20 minutes," Sonny said. "I told someone I wouldn't pray any longer than the person ahead of me."

Drunk not at fault

People charged with impaired driving are usually to blame in traffic accidents.

But in one Decatur wreck reported by Chris Paschenko, police charged a man with driving under the influence, even though his blood-alcohol level registered .04, which is half the legal limit.

Whom did police list at fault that early morning? The woman they said pulled out in front of him.

99 percent wrong

The tax reform debate has been generating sparks in this state for years. Some simple lessons in mathematics might help bring the two sides together.

Targeting the top 1 percent of the wealthy may be easy, one man said, but it is unfair. "The top 1 percent club is open to all of us."

Eric Fleischauer takes exception. He notes that the top 1 percent club, by definition, is closed to exactly 99 percent of us.

City lunch program

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle and Morgan County Commission Chairman John Glasscock are on a free-food diet, according to former Mayor Lynn Fowler. Don and John ate free meals during numerous meetings in one week.

"Anytime you get a free lunch, y'all go, don't you?" Lynn joked.

"That's right," Don said, as John nodded his head and laughed.

Of course, Lynn knew about them because he ate, too. And reporter Jay Wilson overheard the conversation because he ate, too.

Smoke signal

A certain low-tech election in Vatican City caught people's imagination, even in the high-tech world.

Marshall Space Flight Center Director David King was speaking about President Bush's appointment of Michael D. Griffin as NASA's leader, Jay reports.

"Picture this," David said. "... the NASA building in Washington, D.C., with white smoke coming from the roof."

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

DAILY Weekend Editor Steve Stewart compiles and edits You Don't Say. If you have an item of community interest, call Steve at 340-2444, e-mail him at, or write to You Don't Say, THE DECATUR DAILY, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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